Meeting of Important People
January 17, 2015
Photos and review by Randy Jarosz
What a way to make a comeback and bid farewell all in the same night. There was no shortage of tambourines for the triumphant return of the highly influential Pittsburgh band known as Lohio. After 4 years of not performing as a band, Greg and Elizabeth Dutton decided to give the fans what they’ve been waiting so long for.
You would have thought a national touring act had rolled into town to play a bunch of radio hits, with all of the bodies that were packed into the Thunderbird Café. Many were singing word for word to classics like “Modern Days” and “Waiting for the End of Summertime.” “It was really overwhelming to see the crowd in the room (Saturday). I was a little taken a back,” admits Greg Dutton in an interview with Sound Scene Express.
The Duttons took the stage with probably the best backing band in all of Pittsburgh that night, filling the stage with friends and former members. Josh Verbanets of Meeting of Important People flanked to Greg’s left, brought the same energy he does to every live performance. Matt Miller also of Meeting of Important People shared drumming duties with Sven Stens, who travelled in from Philadelphia. James Hart of the Harlan Twins shared keyboard responsibilities with Craig Smith, another out of towner, from Chicago. Eric Cirelli brought his signature guitar sounds and stood out on “Grandfather’s Chaise.” Liz Dutton did what she does best on bass and backing vocals along with Trevor Baker in rotation.
“I wasn’t much of an athlete in high school, I didn’t really play a lot of team sports, so Lohio was the first place I ever felt like part of a team. When I think of a team, I think of Lohio,” confessed Verbanets before playing “You’ve Got a Lot of Nerve.”
“We have had a lot of members through the years, some of them up on stage, some of them in the crowd. We had one prestigious member,” said Dutton while introducing Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. Peduto hand picked Lohio to perform at his mayoral inaugural 1 year ago, at a time when the band was not performing together. “They are musicians, but they are humanitarians, and they are great Pittsburgh People,” said Peduto of Lohio. With a tambourine in hand Bill Peduto sat in for the song “Atlas.”
Host Hugh Twyman of Pittsburgh music blog HughShows, finally got his wish after trying to book Lohio at one of his 12 HughShows Live at Eide’s concert series in 2014. He was a major part in bringing the band together one more time. He gladly took to the stage with Lohio for a cover of Rolling Stones “Dead Flowers.”
Lohio’s last show ever, ended with a riveting version of Neil Young’s “Down by the River.”
“Pittsburgh has a really amazing music scene, filled with a bunch of really fun, engaging, creative people. One of the best things about playing this show was feeling like a member of that scene one more time,” admitted Greg.
You’ve Got a Lot of Nerve